Robert K. Hilton III, Esq. - Partner

Robert K. Hilton III, Esq. - Partner

Admitted to Bar:  1994 - All New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York

Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Medicaid Planning and Probate and Trust Administration

Education:  Hobart College, BA 1989;  Vermont Law School, Juris Doctor, 1993

Memberships: Oneida County Bar Association;  NY State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates & Elder Law sections);  American Bar Association;  and the  Wealth Counsel (an estate planning association for attorneys and accountants)

Rob is an experienced estate planning and Medicaid attorney who has helped over 600 families protect assets and/or qualify for Medicaid.  Born in 1966, Rob grew up in Clinton, New York, and graduated from Clinton High School in 1985 with a Regents Diploma.  Thereafter, he attended Hobart College and graduated in 1989 with a degree in English.  Rob went on to attend Vermont Law School and graduated in 1993 with a Juris Doctor degree.  He began his legal career in Utica, NY in 1993 with the law firm of Felt, Hubbard and Bogan.  He ran his own office of Pronteau, Pugliese and Hilton, from 1995 through 1999.  From 1999 to 2005, he was with the law firm of Kowalczyk, Tolles and Deery as a trial attorney handling over 150 litigation matters, including litigating federal court matters in New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Rob spent three and one-half years at the Estate Planning Law Center where he learned the estate planning practice.  He was a partner at Kowalczyk, Tolles, Deery and Hilton, LLP, in Utica since January 2009, practicing exclusively in estate planning, asset protection, Medicaid and post-death administration.  Rob opened his own practice of Hilton Estate & Elder Law, LLC in December 2012, in Utica, New York, which quickly expanded with branch offices in Boonville, Rome and Lowville.  He employs 9 local people, including two attorneys, as part of his practice.

Rob has successfully brought and prevailed in over 40 Medicaid fair hearings and multiple Article 78 proceedings against the State in the Elder Law field.  He has argued in the Appellate Division and in the Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State of New York.

Rob currently resides with his family in New Hartford, coaches his children in both hockey and soccer and still plays hockey himself.  Rob is involved in various community events, including the Ride for Missing Children, the Boilermaker Road Race and other charities.

He can be reached at (315) 624-9600 or rkh@hiltonlawny.com for a free initial consultation.

James S. Rizzo, Esq. - Senior Associate

James S. Rizzo, Esq. - Senior Associate

Admitted to Bar:  All New York State Courts (1996);  United States Supreme Court (1999);  United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit (1997);  United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (1996).  

Practice Areas:  Estate Planning & Elder Law, Asset Protection, Nursing Home/Medicaid Applications & Planning and Probate & Trust Administration.

Education:  Albany Law School of Union University, Juris Doctor, 1995;  State University of New York at Potsdam, cum laude, Bachelor of Arts, English - Writing and Communications minor, 1991.

Memberships and Activities:  City of Rome Bar Association (1996 – Present)(past President & past Director; current Director 1/18 - Present);  Oneida County Bar Association (1996 – Present)(Director 2015 - 2017);  NY State Bar Association (1992 – Present)( Trusts & Estates section, past House of Delegates member & past Editor-in-Chief of Young Lawyers Section magazine);  U.S. District Court, Northern District of NY Bar Association, (October 2003 – Present);  American Bar Association (1992 – 2001) and Wealth Counsel member(2016 - Present) (an estate planning association for attorneys and accountants).

James S. Rizzo joined the law firm of Hilton Estate & Elder Law, LLC, in January 2015, and concentrates in all aspects of Estate Planning:  Wills, Irrevocable & Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, Nursing Home and Medicaid planning, Supplemental Needs Trusts, Asset Protection, as well as Medicaid Applications & Fair Hearings and Guardianships.  He focuses on meeting his client's unique goals and being proactive in completing estate planning documents to bring peace of mind regarding what will happen to a person's hard earned assets after death.  His over twenty-two years of diverse legal experience has been dedicated to assisting and improving the quality of life for individuals in both the public and private sector.

He began his legal career in 1995 as a City attorney for Rome, New York, where he handled a wide variety of Municipal Law and quality of life issues, including being counsel to the Mayor, Common Council and Planning and Zoning Boards, handling City Code enforcement and prosecution, defending civil rights lawsuits and other litigation matters, negotiations and labor law matters with 5 unions, drafting legislation and contract and budget approvals.  He was appointed Corporation Counsel for the City of Rome by then Mayor Joseph A. Griffo in 2002, and served in that capacity under Mayors John J. Mazzaferro and James F. Brown through June 2006.  Prior to this appointment, he held the positions of First Assistant Rome Corporation Counsel (1996 - 2002), Assistant Corporation Counsel (1996), and Law Clerk (while a law student 1993-1995).

He then worked in private practice with the Utica, NY law firm of Saunders Kahler, LLP where he was a Partner 2008-2013, Of Counsel 2014, and Associate 2006-2007, working in the areas of Litigation, Contracts, Wills, Higher Education law, Municipal law, Debtor-Creditor law, Employment law, Family law appellate matters, Commercial Development issues and Real Estate matters.

Jim was born in Rome, NY, graduated from Rome Free Academy class of 1987, and remains a lifelong resident of Rome with his three children:  Julia - 19, Erika -16 & Alex - 12.  He is a nine-time participant in Utica’s Boilermaker 15k Road Race, coached AYSO Youth Soccer Town of Lee (2007-2014), was awarded Mohawk Valley’s “40 Under 40” award in 2004, and contributes and participates in various local charities and events.

He can be reached at (315) 624-9600 or jsr@hiltonlawny.com for a free, confidential initial consultation.

Elizabeth A. Kenny, Esq.

Elizabeth A. Kenny, Esq.

Admitted to Bar: 2002 - New York State

Practice Areas: Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning, including emergency nursing home cost planning and Medicaid applications for both long term and at home care.

Education: University of Scranton 1985; Seton Hall University, School of Law 1993

Memberships: NY State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates & Elder Law sections)

Elizabeth A. Kenny, Esq. joined the firm in July 2016 and has now directed her 25+ years of legal experience and education to estate and elder law. Since then, Liz has enjoyed helping clients protect and then transfer their assets to their loved ones through the use of wills/trusts and advising clients about how they (or a loved one) can qualify for Medicaid to pay for their home care, assisted living or nursing home care without losing their life’s savings.

Liz was raised in Northern New Jersey and attended Morris Catholic High School in Denville, NJ. In 1985, she earned a B.A. degree in Finance/Economics from the University of Scranton and then pursued a career in finance. She first served an internship at the Financial Futures Market in London, England and then worked as a government bond trader in New York City for L.F. Rothschild Securities and Langdon P. Cook Trading LLC. While still working on Wall Street, she attended Seton Hall School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. In 1993, she earned her Juris Doctorate in Law, concentrating on estate and trust law. She was referred to her first law job by her estate and trust professor based upon this concentration, but such job led her to work thereafter in various forms of litigation. In 1992-1993, she served an internship for the Honorable Karen Russell, Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Then from 1993 to 1999, she worked for law firms in New Jersey handling primarily bodily injury, land use, estate and trust and matrimonial litigation.

In 1999, Liz and her husband, Delmar Barnes decided to move back to his hometown of Waterville, New York in order to raise their children near the family dairy farm. After a two year break from the law to enjoy her children, Liz took a position as in house counsel for New York Central Mutual Insurance Company from 2001-2006 and then for Utica National Insurance Group from 2006 onward. During this time Liz also continued to practice law privately in various matters until joining the firm in July 2016 and then focusing upon estate, trust and elder law issues.

Liz has also been active in her community, serving on the Board of Education for the Waterville Central School (President – 2008/09; Vice President- 2007/08; Member - 2006/07) and in 2011 served as Chairperson for the Utica National Insurance Group’s United Way Campaign. She is presently a member of the Town of Sangerfield Planning Board (2015 to present), Chairperson of the St. Bernard’s Church Fall Bazaar (2014 to present) and Chairperson of the Town of Sangerfield Republican Committee (2008 to present).